Fixing Hong Kong's housing crisis
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In 2016, an estimated 2.8% of the city's population was living in subdivided apartments – housing in squalid, dilapidated conditions that featured egregiously expensive rents and living conditions that are frankly, fire and safety hazards. The average queueing time for public housing, according to the latest numbers from the Hong Kong government, was 5.7 years – that is, impoverished individuals must spend at least 6.7%, on average, of their lifetime (taking 84.93 to be the average life expectancy) awaiting a minimally adequate apartment from the government.
Some in the Establishment have attributed the social unrest and political upheaval to the administration's failure to tackle the housing crisis head-on. Let us, for now, set aside the empirical questions of whether this causal explanation holds water – e.g. might there not be, too, concerns with the quality of the city's governance and administrators, or, indeed, a general sense of unease at the means through which the city was being assimilated into its own country? The imperative question then becomes, of course, what gives – how can we solve the problem? ...